Wedding rentals. It is one of those funny wedding terms that just gets thrown around. If you are planning a wedding in DC, Maryland or Virginia, or anywhere, really, chances are good that you have no idea what a “rental” is, much less how to get one. So, let’s start from the beginning and I’m going to share with you the few things you need to know about wedding rentals.

wedding-rentals-in-washington-dc-The-Observatory

Photo Credit: The Observatory from Kate + Josh’s wedding
Table linens from Select Event Rentals

Rentals include anything and everything that you have to bring into your wedding location that isn’t already there, like extra furniture or linens and place settings for the tables. If you don’t plan for it, rentals can become a somewhat large and unexpected part of your budget for a wedding, especially in the DC area. Because of all of the other non-wedding events (conventions, political events, corporate meetings etc.) going on in the DC area, rentals are in high demand and can be, but aren’t always, pricey. You might be in for a huge surprise when you find out that your wedding location in DC, Maryland or Virginia doesn’t have the chairs you want, or the table linens that match your decor. You will have to add the rental cost of these items to your budget.

The most common rented items are:

  • Table Linens
  • Napkins
  • Chairs + Seat Cushions
  • Plates/China
  • Glassware
  • Chargers or Baseplates
  • Silverware or Flatware
  • Tables
  • Dance Floor
  • Furniture

This list of rentals could go on and on forever. I kept the list to the common rental items that couples planning a wedding in the DC area might need. If you don’t rent the items on the list above, you should be mindful of where these items are coming from and who is providing them (aka how those costs are being passed along to you).

Keep in mind that if you are having a wedding in a unique location, like a backyard, you’ll need to rent and bring in more items, such as a tent or bathrooms, than for a hotel ballroom or larger restaurant.

Wedding rental companies in the DC area have huge showrooms that you can visit to pick out your items. You will need to set up an appointment, provide a little bit about your budget and your wedding location, and they will preset suggested items for you in advance of a meeting. Check with your wedding location first about which rental companies are approved to work at your venue. Your wedding planner or venue coordinator can be a huge help here and can point you in the direction of some helpful, rental solutions and options.

wedding-rentals-in-washington-dc-area-Andrew-Reilly-Photography

Photo Credit: Andrew Reilly Photography from Katie + Chris’s wedding
Rentals from DC Rental

Decor vs. Priorities

One of the biggest drivers of wedding rental costs is your desired wedding theme and decor. If you want certain table linens and place settings, beyond what your venue or caterer is able to provide, then you will need to rent these items. Most venues have chairs, but the question is: do they have the chairs that you want to use?

Biggest Mistake

Look through your contract with your DC area wedding venue carefully and ask a lot of questions about what items they will and won’t be providing. Everything not on their list, you will have to rent. Some venues quote you their price for using their space, but they don’t include the extra costs for the items you will have to rent in order to have a wedding at their location. Suddenly, having your wedding at a certain location when you factor in the rentals might not be so affordable anymore. On the flip side, some venues have great chairs and beautiful plates so you won’t need to rent these items. Not having to rent extra items can be a huge money saver and a venue decision maker.

No matter where the items come from, be sure to factor rentals into your overall wedding cost. If you are looking for rentals, you can start your research with our comprehensive list of wedding rental companies in the DC area.

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